The annual knitters convention was in town this weekend, and I went to the marketplace on Thursday night. I’d been saving up for a year for a particular yarn purchase. I had wanted to buy this yarn last year, but chickened out due to the price. I made a beeline for the booth, but couldn’t make up my mind which color I wanted. I finally asked them for help in picking a color. “This one matches your hair. It could have been spun out of your hair.” I smiled and knew why I was drawn to that color.
When I was 16, my grandmother took me to look at a horse. This was not an unusual occurrence. My grandmother was always looking for the perfect competition horse for me, and I’d already been through 4 or 5 horses in two years. He had the prosaic name of Sam. It was love at first sight. My grandmother purchased him with the caveat that I pick a better name for him.
He was nameless for a few weeks, until in a fit of temper at his bad behavior (he had a tendency to rear to get out of doing something he didn’t want to do) I named him Foxfire. Whenever I wasn’t in school and there was daylight, we were out on the trails. One day, I decided to take him out on one of my favorite rides. It started out easy, with a few miles of flat, wide roads through the sprout fields, and then it went sharply uphill for quite a distance. At the top, there were some gentle, rolling hills. It was spring, so the sourgrass was in full bloom, so he was knee deep in acid yellow flowers. As we crested the final hill, he stopped short, snorting in alarm. His ears swiveled and he kept snorting and staring. He reared and did a little jig, while I was laughing at him. To be fair, people seeing the view for the first time tend to gasp and swear, so his reaction wasn’t that out of the ordinary. When you crest that final hill, all you can see is ocean from horizon to horizon, and the angle is such that the ocean appears to be hanging over you. It’s a fantastic optical illusion and quite alarming the first time you see it, even if you’re a horse.
Foxfire and I went on to do quite well in a number of competitions and even win a few. Perfect strangers would stop us to tell us how good we looked together. Riding him was wonderful, almost like flying. When we hit our marks together, we were perfect. But the thing that delighted people more than anything was “You match!” And we did. My hair matched his mane perfectly, with the darker tones matching his coat.